Monday Music: Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens “What Have You Done, My Brother?”

Today’s Monday Music comes from the amazing Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens. Growing up singing in churches in Alabama, Shelton went on to sing in many soul clubs in New York before forming the current group with piano player and creative director Cliff Davis.

The 2009 release What Have You Done, My Brother? on Daptone Records is soulful, energetic, and possess a kind of yearning quality that will resonates with listeners of all ages. Under the musical direction of the wonderful piano player Cliff Driver, the record also features guitarist Tommy “TNT” Brenneck and Bosco Mann.  Like so many of the Daptone releases, this album has that wonderfully rich analog texture, giving the songs a timeless, intimate sound. In places it sounds a bit like early Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers and relies on an impressive use of backing vocals in the place of a horn section.

Below is a short film/introduction to Shelton’s music followed by a full recording of the title track, “What Have You Done, My Brother?”

She and Cliff Driver talk about the importance of storytelling in song, the layering of voices and the techniques of recording, and the inspiration behind the music. To purchase music or learn more about concert dates, click here.  You can also follow Shelton on facebook by clicking here.